Ride raises $500,000 so far for country kids

Royal Far West's Ride for Country Kids has raised more than $500,000 so far with special auctions at the end of the ride set to help them reach their $650,000 target.

Ride for kids: Andrew Nieland, Mike Tomalaris, host of SBS Tour de France coverage, and Young's Sean Sampson. Picture: Craig Thomson.

Ride for kids: Andrew Nieland, Mike Tomalaris, host of SBS Tour de France coverage, and Young's Sean Sampson. Picture: Craig Thomson.

Funds raised from the ride provide essential medical services that are not accessible to many children in Australia.

Royal Far West Business Director Jacqui Emery said it is beyond doubt programs funded by the bike ride benefit country children.

“The funds raised from the ride fill a critical gap for rural and remote families and communities that do not have access to the services they desperately need,” she said.

“With our Paediatric Developmental Program children and their families travel to Manly for a week-long stay, during which they have access to a multidisciplinary team that assesses, diagnoses, reviews and treats children with complex developmental and behavioural issues.

“Our Telecare for Kids program helps children with speech, occupational therapy, and psychology, children from Young have directly benefited from the money raised from previous rides.”

Young Local Sean Sampson and SBS’s Tour de France commentator Mike Tomalaris were amongst the 100 riders that braved the gruelling 420km tour.

“The first day of the ride was a very tough day, we had 36-degree heat and some massive headwinds and a bit of fatigue set in for a lot of riders, some had trouble making it into Young, it was that punishing,” Sampson said. “But every rider has in their minds that this ride is for the kids, and that’s what keeps us going.”

SBS’s Mike Tomalaris said the ride has been a great experience for him.

“I have been involved in covering cycling as a sport and as a recreational activity for a long time and its great to see how it can be a wonderful past time but also help a very worthy charity like Royal Far West, “ he said. 

Ms Emery said the ride raises awareness of children’s health needs.

Every rider has in their minds that this ride is for the kids, and that’s what keeps us going.

Sean Sampson

“The ride allows us to collaborate with local schools along the route,” she said. 

“Working in partnership with preschools, primary schools, parents and local clinicians in the towns along the way is the best way for us to move forward. “We know we are helping country kids.”

MORNING TEA: Riders stopped off in Young on Monday for morning tea.

MORNING TEA: Riders stopped off in Young on Monday for morning tea.